Courchevel, France – Still rattled from her near disaster in Saturday’s downhill in Val d’Isere, Lindsey Vonn finished a disappointing 13th in Sunday’s Audi FIS Alpine World Cup giant slalom in Courchevel, allowing Lara Gut of Switzerland to pass her in the World Cup overall standings.
“I didn’t really feel very balanced today,” Vonn said after crossing the finish line as the only U.S. skier to complete both runs in spring-like conditions in the Three Valleys. “I think I rung my bell a little bit yesterday.
“I came over a roll and caught my inside ski and it launched me,” Vonn said of Saturday’s near disaster. “I’m lucky I didn’t crash; it definitely did not feel good. I’ve been trying to recover and be ready for today, but wasn’t really in it. I tried everything – got a lot of therapy but wasn’t quite right today.”
Austria’s Eva-Maria Brem took her second career World Cup victory Sunday after finishing second in this season’s two previous giant slaloms. Gut and Norway’s Nina Loeseth tied for second.
“Every season I just need that one moment when everything gets together, that one run, like the second one in Aspen when I felt ‘this is how I need to keep this working,’” explained Brem. “I knew what I had to do, but waiting at the start was tough. That second victory was beautiful, too, and that made me cry.”
“It’s been a great weekend for me,” said Gut, who won both the weekend’s downhill and combined in Val d’Isere. “I feel good in GS this year, even though it was a bit complicated in Åre. When I won in Aspen, my confidence was boosted. I knew I could be fast in GS again.
“Today I managed to forget about what I did yesterday and just focus on today’s race,” Gut continued. “It was the first time since a while that I could start in the top seven and I just had to give it all out. In the first run, I skied well on top and bottom but drifted a bit too much in the middle section. In the second, I tried to be clean all the way and then realized it is feasible to get 80 points even if you’re tired.”
Gut now sits atop the overall rankings with 558 points, 58 ahead of Vonn, who was 10th after the first run and struggled as the afternoon shadows darkened the slope for the second run. A late right turn on the second steep section cost her not only time, but valuable World Cup points.
“It was a really dark second run,” Vonn said. “Normally I’m pretty good at that. But I kept catching my edge, doing weird stuff. It was a good effort, I tried really hard and I got some points, so it’s good.”
Megan McJames (Park City, Utah) and Stacey Cook (Mammoth Mountain, Calif.), making her first World Cup giant slalom start in more than five years, did not qualify for the second run.
Up next, the women head to Lienz, Austria for slalom and giant slalom events Dec. 28 and 29 following the Christmas break.
FIS Alpine Ski World Cup
Courchevel, France – Dec. 20, 2015
Women’s Giant Slalom
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